GAO Calls for Federal Privacy Legislation on Eve of Congressional Hearings

After years of inactivity, privacy is once again a hot issue on Capitol Hill.  The Senate Commerce Committee has set a February 27, 2019 hearing on “Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States.”

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Consumer Protection Committee has announced it will begin hearings on  “Protecting Consumer Privacy in the Era of Big Data” on February 26, 2019.  Subcommittee Chair Schakowsky’s announcement video declaring that “self-regulation just is not working” is below.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee also asked the United States Government Accountability Office to review federal oversight of Internet privacy.  The GAO added momentum to the push for federal privacy legislation with its conclusion that

Comprehensive Internet privacy legislation that establishes specific standards
and includes traditional notice-and-comment rulemaking and broader civil penalty
authority could enhance the federal government’s ability to protect consumer

The report is below.